January 6, 2015
Environmental ethics professor Rolf Bouma suggests there’s a lot of upside to the electronic eyes and ears we’ve directed toward the animal world.
I'm in line with you on zoos, Rolf, in that I'd be fine if they were phased out as "public spectacle." That sort of animal interaction strikes me as poor creation care. That said, something will be lost if our interaction with God's creatures no longer involves "face to face" contact and is reduced to watching them on screens. I just returned from a trip to the San Diego area, where we saw animals at the San Diego Zoo, your fairly traditional zoo setup, and Safari Park, which is geared more toward the sort of conservation efforts you mention, with active breeding programs and a free-range area for a number of species. But guess what trumped both experiences for my 9-year-old daughter, at least in terms of generating awe and wonder at God's creation? Wading among the tide pools along the beach after the water subsided, touching starfish and snails. There's something to be said for immersing ourselves in creation, as responsibly as we can.
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